ORCUTT — Four juveniles were detained and later released to their parents in a vehicle theft and tampering case in Orcutt, authorities said.
At approximately 2:07 a.m. Thursday, sheriff’s deputies responded to the 700 block of Royal Terrace to investigate a report of suspects who were allegedly checking the door handles of vehicles and going through vehicles they found unlocked. As deputies arrived, they noticed a suspect getting into an Infinity and, after running the license plate, discovered the vehicle was stolen from Arroyo Grande on Wednesday, said Raquel Zick, spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.
The juvenile suspect was arrested as deputies continued to search the area for additional suspects. Stolen property from other vehicles was found inside the Infinity. A second juvenile was located as deputies searched the car, while three other suspects fled on foot, Ms. Zick said.
Deputies set up a perimeter, and a notification was sent to nearby residents advising them to stay inside during the search.
Santa Maria police, the California Highway Patrol and two K-9 units were dispatched to the scene. Deputies conducted a door-to-door search, and at 4:40 a.m. Thursday two additional juveniles were located and arrested, Ms. Zick said.
The stolen vehicle was stored, and the four suspects were released to their parents. A complaint has been filed for each of the suspects, whose names were withheld.
The charges include felony vehicle theft, felony possession of a stolen vehicle, vehicle tampering, prowling, theft during a state of emergency, petty theft, felony conspiracy and violation of nighttime curfew.
The investigation is continuing and deputies are seeking unreported victims, as well as any video footage of the suspects or the vehicle from this incident. Anyone with additional information is encouraged to call the Santa Maria Sheriff’s Substation at 805-934-6150 or email Deputy Riggar at firstname.lastname@example.org.